Creatine monohydrate is a popular supplement among bodybuilders and athletes. Creatine, derived from the word “creatine,” is a nitrogenous organic acid made up of three amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine. You can get it by eating red meat or fish, but most people choose to take it in supplement form to experience its benefits.
If you’re considering taking creatine but don’t want to be one of those people who regrets their decision, read on for a few things you should know before you try it out!
What is Creatine?
Creatines are an essential nutrient that your body needs for energy production. They also help with cell growth and maintenance as well as bone strength. The body does not make creatine on its own, so you must get them from your diet.
Creatine supplementation is not only popular among gym-goers but also among athletes. Athletes with high endurance levels like swimmers, sprinters, and distance runners see even more muscle strength gains in performance when using creatine supplements.
Sources of Creatine
Creatine is naturally found in many different types of meat, including beef, chicken, tuna, and salmon. Although it can come from food, most people choose to take creatine supplements because they are sufficient enough to create the desired effects that the user is looking for.
Creatine can help you achieve a leaner, more toned body, and it helps increase lean muscle mass significantly. If you take creatine, you will have an easier time accomplishing your fitness goals because you’ll be able to work out with maximum efficiency without experiencing fatigue as quickly as before. This is most likely the main reason bodybuilders, powerlifters, and athletes use creatine to their advantage.
Studies have shown that taking creatine before a workout will maximize your energy output. This is key because you’ll lift more weight, thus creating better results in less time. For this reason, many people choose to take creatine before their workouts.
Is the Creatine loading phase necessary?
Creatine is kept in muscles and used to provide rapid bursts of energy. The creatine loading phase can greatly increase your creatine supply to improve your metabolism, making this process quicker and easier. In the creatine loading phase, you’re recommended to consume a rather large amount of creatine intake rapidly for a short period of time to saturate your muscles.
Even though protein and fat can accumulate rapidly in muscle, blood plasma levels can drop to a level of about 70% when metabolized by food. A loading phase is probably the most effective way to profit from the supplement’s effects. The International Society of Sports Nutrition argues that up to 30 grams daily for five years may be safe and is usually properly tolerated by health-conscious adults. Some studies suggest that creatine increases your risk of dehydration, cramping, and heat illness. When taking creatine in the recommended dosage, it’s safe.
Precautions When Creatine Loading
While creatine can do all of these beautiful things, it might not be for everyone. Before taking anything that has to do with your health into your own hands, you should get clearance from your doctor or physician first if you have an adverse reaction to the supplement that harms your overall well-being.
If you’re going to take creatine, you must do your research and purchase a quality product. Don’t go for the cheapest brand, or you’ll be sacrificing quality control and possibly even safety. It would help if you also kept in mind that not all creatines are alike, so read up on which type is right for your goals.
Side Effects You Should Know
Creatine causes a temporary weight gain because it holds more water in the muscles. This is not fat but instead what gives your muscles their fullness and definition.
While creatine may be safe to take, there are a few side effects that you might experience from taking it. The most common creatine side effects include stomach cramping and diarrhea. This usually occurs because the creatine was not correctly mixed into a drink or taken on an empty stomach.
While it is safe for most people to take creatine, there are some medical conditions that you should be aware of before starting supplementation. If you have kidney disease, liver disease, or diabetes, you should not take creatine to prevent adverse effects.
The creatine you choose to take should be accompanied by proper hydration. Dehydration can cause several side effects that are just as bad or worse than taking creatine itself, so be sure that you’re staying properly hydrated when supplementing with this amino acid.
Do the Work
Creatine monohydrate can help you achieve your fitness goals, but it is a supplement and should not be used to replace going to the gym. Don’t expect the creatine to do all of the work itself.
Unlike what many people think, taking creatine will not make muscle gains. You might even lose a little bit of size because the creatine may thicken the cell wall, causing it to hold less water. So if you do decide to take creatine, your muscles will be harder, not bigger.
Creatine causes an increase in lean muscle mass through cellular hydration. The muscle cells are filled with more water due to creatine, so you have more power and strength when you work out.
It is not necessary to load up on creatine before taking it. Taking a small dose will help you achieve better results than trying to “load” your body with too much too soon. If you want the best results from creatine supplements, start slow and work your way up to a larger dose.
An excellent way to help with the digestion of creatine is to make sure you’re taking it on an empty stomach. You can also take creatine with grapefruit juice, as this creatine works best when taken about thirty minutes before your workout. This is because it takes your muscles about 30 minutes to start using creatine as fuel, so taking it before training ensures that the creatine will reach its peak level during exercise.
You don’t need to load up on creatine, as some people think. While loading increases creatine in the muscles, it can also lead to nausea, cramping, or diarrhea. Another way to get the same results from taking smaller doses more frequently, which is a healthier option.
Creatine as Dietary Supplement
Taking creatine monohydrate can cause you to lose weight faster than average, so if you’re not exercising and watching what you eat while supplementing with this widespread amino acid, you may lose some weight. On the other hand, it can also help you gain weight if taken properly since it helps with muscle repair and growth.
Creatine is best used when combined with other supplements like beta-alanine, betaine, BCAAs, sodium bicarbonate, and caffeine. You can use these supplements separately, but they work even better when taken together.
Time to Take Effect
It can take up to a month or two for the effects of creatine to be noticeable, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t notice anything right away. Stick with your routine, and eventually, your muscles will start to pop!
Creatine stores your muscles fully in about a week if you do a loading phase of 20g per day and a maintenance dose of 5g per day. As a result, your reserves are filled within 28 days.
How to Take Creatine
There are many different forms of creatine products on the market today so make sure that you do your research before choosing a creatine product. Some are in pill form, while some are in powder form. Some work better than others, and some may cause side effects that you don’t want to.
It is important to note that not all creatine supplements are created equal. Many of them contain additives and unnecessary ingredients which do nothing for your body. Look for reputable brands that only use pure forms of creatine.
It would not be best to mix creatine with nitrates or caffeine, as this can cause side effects like nausea and cramping. Other common side effects include gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea, which can be minimized by spacing your daily doses and taking smaller servings throughout the day instead of more significant amounts once a day.
Creatine is a popular supplement that you’ll find in many pre-workout products because it works. If you’ve been thinking about trying creatine supplements but don’t know how to incorporate them into your diet or if they’re safe for you, Many people don’t get enough creatine in their diets, making supplementation appealing. Creatine is made by the body naturally but can also be found in meat products.
When you supplement with creatines, you usually take it orally or intravenously. Oral supplements are readily available at health stores or online.
People who take creatine usually report increased strength, power, speed, and muscle mass through heavy exercise. They also may notice improvements in brain function and better cardiovascular health.
Don’t forget that like anything you put into your body, there are side effects of creatine supplements aside from the benefits. In taking creatine supplementation, it’s always best that you are well guided by health and fitness professionals.
Creatine can cause weight gain as well as some bloating. Most people don’t experience side effects; however, if you do, it’s probably a good idea to stop taking the supplement and consult your doctor immediately.